August 8th, 2006

Jin Shei Cover from sgreer

Hemingway's cats and teh busybodies of the world

Back when I first came to the United States my then-not-yet-husband took me down to Key West to show me a bit of old Florida. One of my clearest memories from that trip was the visit to the Hemingway house and museum - quite aside from the intrinsic interest that I had for the place as and of itself, there were the Hemingway cats. They were famous. They were the descendants of Papa Hemingway's own cats, fully half of them were polydactyls (the "mitten cats" with the extra "thumb" on their paws), and they were... just... well, let's put it this way. It's a tad disconcerting but utterly delightful to walk up to the booth which is selling tickets to enter the museum and be greeted by a lounging calico cat spread out over the counter instead of the human being who should have been there but who had popped out for a moment. The cat motif continued inside the house and the grounds - cats stalked majestically through the garden, lay dozing in dappled shade, festooned themselves on lips of fountains, lay blinking at visitors from various armchairs, desks and windowsills, and one - obviously with a racial memory that stretched longer than some of the others - thought that rdeck looked rather a lot like Papa himself, and followed the two of us from room to room keeping close to rdeck's heels all the way. They were an utter delight, they were part of the place and always had been, they *lived* there. This was their home.

Enter the busybodies.

Full story here.

WHy oh why can't people leave beautiful things alone? Those cats are not shoved into a single room in a single house with a single litterbox between them, by some horrid mad old lady who wants to collect them. The cats are contented, well cared for, living comfortably in their own space. An exhibit? Give me a BREAK.

All I can say to those idiots proposing this godawful thing is, if you want to see miserable cats cofined behind bars, go visit your local pound.

Leave Hemingway's cats alone.